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    \u201c\ud83d\udea8#BREAKING: Police fire tear gas towards pro-choice protesters in Phoenix\n\n\ud83d\udccc #Phoenix l #Arizona \n\nRight now Arizona police are in riot gear clearing out the pro-choice protesters as they Fire teargas right into the crowd straight from the Capitol windows in Phoenix Arizona\u201d — R A W S A L E R T S (@R A W S A L E R T S) 1656130219 \u201cDPS used tear gas and people went running away from the Capitol. People coughing and now DPS is telling people to disperse. Protestors were banging on the Capitol windows \u2066\u2066@azfamily\u2069 \n\n#Phoenix\u201d — Michael Raimondi (@Michael Raimondi) 1656128997 Department of Public Safety told AZ Family reporter Michael Raimondi, "Our troopers were in the Senate lobby in full view of the rioters as they pounded on the glass. We believe they had every intention of getting inside the senate building." "Troopers deployed gas outside the Senate building after protesters attempted to break the glass," the Arizona DPS stated. "The crowd then moved to the Wesley Bolin Plaza where some monuments were vandalized. Gas was deployed again...
    Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Adam Schiff said during day four of the publicly televised Jan. 6 hearings that former President Trump and his inner circle likely violated 'multiple federal laws by participating in the former president's 'pressure campaign' to convince states to individually recount or overturn their election results – including Georgia and Arizona  specifically. 'This pressure campaign brought angry phone calls and texts, armed protests, intimidation, and, all too often, threats of violence and death. State legislators were singled out. So too were statewide elections officials,' Schiff, D-Calif., claimed.   'As we will show, the president's supporters heard the former president's claims of fraud and the false allegations he made against state and local officials as a call to action.' Meanwhile Jan. 6 committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney backed up Schiff's claims that Trump should be held criminally responsible. 'Each of these efforts to overturn the election is independently serious. Each deserves attention both by Congress and by the Department of Justice,' she said.  Cheney held Donald Trump directly responsible for the 'plot' to pressure state officials.  'Trump had a direct and...
    Virginia “Ginni” Thomas’ efforts to call on state lawmakers to disrupt President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win were broader than previously known, with The Washington Post reporting Friday that the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had sent form letters to 29 Arizona legislators encouraging them to meddle in the state’s slate of presidential electors. The new report adds 27 recipients of the messages to the two Arizona lawmakers who, it was reported last month, received apparently prewritten emails from Ginni Thomas. Ginni Thomas’ support of the efforts to overturn former President Donald Trump’s electoral defeat have come under scrutiny given her husband’s participation in a case that was before the Supreme Court concerning the House’s January 6 investigation. There is the potential that he will be involved in other cases related to that investigation. Justices decide for themselves whether cases present a conflict requiring their recusal. The Supreme Court public information office did not respond to CNN’s inquiry about the latest report. Twenty members of the Arizona House and seven state senators received identical messages on November 9,...
    As the Jan. 6 insurrection hearings commence, other information unrelated to the terrorist attacks from that day are surfacing. The Washington Post reported Friday that Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed 29 Arizona lawmakers to overturn their elections in favor of Trump. The outlet had previously reported that Thomas emailed two lawmakers, but newly obtained emails indicate at least 29. The Post was able to obtain the emails under Arizona’s public records law. The emails sent on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that the legislators needed to intervene in order to set aside Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and choose “a clean slate of Electors.” While she did not mention the candidates' names, the intent was clear due to her reference to fraud committed during the election and Joe Biden’s popular-vote win in the state. Of the 29 lawmakers, about 20 were noted to be members of the Arizona House and at least seven Arizona state Senators. At the time the emails were sent, the emailed individuals represent more than half of the Republican members of the state...
    The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas urged 29 Republican lawmakers in Arizona to “choose” new electors to reverse former President Donald Trump's loss, according to a new report. Virginia "Ginni" Thomas sent identical emails to 22 members of the state House and seven members of the state Senate urging them to "stand strong in the face of political and media pressure" and choose a "clean slate of Electors," according to emails obtained by the Washington Post. Previous reports indicated Thomas had only emailed two Arizona House members. GINNI THOMAS PUSHED ARIZONA LAWMAKERS TO HELP REVERSE TRUMP 2020 LOSS: REPORT Thomas sent a string of emails to lawmakers in November and December of 2020, pushing out a bulk of the messages to 27 lawmakers, or more than half of all GOP members in the state legislature at the time, on Nov. 9, according to the report. The emails were sent through FreeRoots, an online platform allowing political organizers to send messages to multiple recipients for campaign purposes. The November emails, sent just days after President...
    Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed 29 Republican state lawmakers in Arizona to set aside Joe Biden's win there and 'choose' their own presidential electors, a new report on Friday revealed. That number of lawmakers she contacted is 27 more than previously known and indicates an even greater involvement on her part in Donald Trump's effort to overturn the election. Thomas, a lawyer and conservative activist, sent the message via the online platform FreeRoots, where a prson can send pre-written notes to multiple elected officials.  She used that platform to reach many lawmakers simultaneously, the Washington Post reported, telling them they had the legal authority to choose their electors and it was their responsiblity 'alone.' On Nov. 9, just days after media outlets called Arizona for Biden, she sent identical emails to 20 members of the Arizona House and seven state senators. That was more than half of the state legislature.  She urged the lawmakers to 'stand strong in the face of political and media pressure' and claimed that the responsibility to choose electors was 'yours...
    The efforts of far right-wing lobbyist and pro-MAGA activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas to overturn the 2020 presidential election, disenfranchising millions of voters in the process, were even more extensive than have previously been reported. In addition to her month’s long text messaging with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, urging him to find a way to falsify the 2020 results and have Donald Trump declared the winner, Thomas reached out to members of the Arizona House, urging them to choose different presidential electors who would represent Trump. Earlier reporting indicated Thomas had tried to pressure two Arizona Republican lawmakers. But it wasn’t just two who Thomas tried to have overturn the election results. In total it was 29. Ginni Thomas, the spouse of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, “sent the messages using FreeRoots, an online platform intended to make it easy to send pre-written emails to multiple elected officials,” according to The Washington Post. “New documents show that Thomas indeed used the platform to reach many lawmakers simultaneously. On Nov. 9, she sent identical emails to 20 members of...
    Far right wing activist, lobbyist, and spouse of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, Ginni Thomas pressed lawmakers in Arizona to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. In emails she urged them to “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure,” and send a “clean slate” of electors, falsely claiming the choice is “yours and yours alone.” “The emails, sent by Ginni Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud. Though she did not mention either candidate by name, the context was clear,” reports The Washington Post, which broke the news Friday. “In sending the emails, Thomas played a role in the extraordinary scheme to keep Trump in office by substituting the will of legislatures for the will of voters.” “Before you choose your state’s Electors … consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you don’t stand up and lead,” an email bearing Ginni Thomas’ name, sent to the Arizona lawmakers, reads:It included a link to a...
    The wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pressed Republicans in Arizona to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 election victory there, according to emails published on Friday.  Ginni Thomas repeated President Donald Trump's false claims that the election was marred by fraud. 'Please stand strong in the face of political and media pressure,' she wrote. 'Please reflect on the awesome authority granted to you by our constitution. And then please take action to ensure that a clean slate of electors is chosen for our state.' The swing state of Arizona was central to Trump's claim that he was cheated of victory. Biden won the state by about 10,000 votes. The decision by Fox News to call the state for Biden infuriated Trump, and he has repeatedly disputed the outcome. Ginni Thomas, the conservative activist wife of Justice Clarence Thomas pressed Republicans in Arizona to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 victory there, according to emails published on Friday Democrats and ethics campaigners have called on Justice Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the 2020 election because of his wife's efforts to...
    (CNN)Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed two Arizona state lawmakers after the 2020 presidential election to upend Joe Biden's popular vote win in that state by ensuring "a clean slate of electors" was chosen, according to emails released Friday. The emails -- which started with what appear to be pre-generated form letters from conservative activist Ginni Thomas to Arizona state representatives Russell Bowers and Shawnna Bolick -- show that she encouraged both lawmakers to "fight back against fraud" and exercise what she characterized as their constitutional authority to unilaterally choose the electors rather than accepting those based on popular vote results. "This responsibility is yours and yours alone," an email from Ginni Thomas to Bowers on November 9, 2020, reads. Bolick received a nearly identical email from Ginni Thomas the same day, suggesting she used a form letter template. Bolick responded to her on November 10, 2020, encouraging her to file a formal complaint if she experienced voter fraud or election interference in Arizona. On November 12, Bolick wrote to Ginni Thomas again, saying the form...
    The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, urged Arizona lawmakers following the 2020 election to select new electors to help reverse former President Donald Trump's loss. In the days after media outlets called the 2020 race for Biden in Arizona and across the country, Thomas messaged multiple lawmakers to choose a "clean slate of Electors," calling on them to “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure," according to emails she sent on Nov. 9, 2020, obtained by the Washington Post. In her messages, Thomas also suggested lawmakers shared a responsibility to select electors, saying the ability was "yours and yours alone," adding they have the "power to fight back against fraud." GINNI THOMAS WANTED TO 'RELEASE THE KRAKEN' Thomas reportedly sent the emails using an online platform called freeroots.com, a website intended to provide political organizers a way to send messages out to multiple recipients for campaign purposes, according to the outlet. Reports of extended messaging from the wife of the high court justice mounts on top of previous revelations of her efforts...
    Ginni Thomas, everyone’s least favorite wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, cannot stop being in the news for her work in trying to overthrow our government. The fact that the Jan. 6 select committee isn’t having a five-week chat with Ginni Thomas is arguably the only shocking news about her coming out these days. On Friday, The Washington Post reported that they had obtained and reviewed a series of emails from Ginni Thomas to Arizona lawmakers asking that the Grand Canyon State to put a hold on confirming President Joe Biden’s victory. Thomas asked the GOP officials she had on speed dial to choose “a clean slate of Electors” in order to … overturn the election results. To be clear, the catastrophic, GOP-led “full forensic audit” clown show that finished up in September 2021 and found zero election fraud took place. But the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice, a man who might be tasked with writing the opinion on whether or not Donald Trump and his minority-rule would seize control of our country, was telling Arizona lawmakers that they “alone” had the...
    Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, the right-wing activist wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressured Arizona lawmakers to throw out Joe Biden’s slate of electors in the state and replace them with pro-Trump electors, according to emails reviewed by the Washington Post. The newly revealed emails show that Thomas was “ was more deeply involved in the effort to overturn Biden’s win than has been previously reported,” notes the Post. Additionally, the report connects Thomas as a player “in the extraordinary scheme to keep Trump in office by substituting the will of legislatures for the will of voters.” Thomas has become an increasingly controversial figure in recent months as reporting has exposed the fact that she would suggest to Donald Trump the hiring and firing of officials in his administration, attended the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol and she texted then Chief of Staff Mark Meadows QAnon-related conspiracy theories about overturning the 2020 presidential election. The new reporting by the Post details Thomas’s direct involvement in trying to use her considerable influence in the...
    PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court rejected Monday an effort to disqualify three Republican lawmakers from this year’s ballot because of their alleged roles in planning or attending the rally that led to the unprecedented attack on Congress on Jan. 6, 2021. The ruling means U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs and state Rep. Mark Finchem remain on the primary ballot. Gosar and Biggs are seeking reelection and Finchem is running to try to become Secretary of State, Arizona’s chief election officer. The lawsuits filed on behalf of a handful of Arizona voters alleged that Gosar, Biggs and Finchem cannot hold office because they participated in an insurrection. The lawsuits cited a section of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution enacted after the Civil War known as the “disqualification clause.” The justices ruled that alleged violations of the disqualification clause are not grounds for challenging candidates’ eligibility for office under Arizona law. The decision upholds a ruling by the Maricopa County Superior Court. None of the lawmakers are accused of participating in the actual...
    While Arizona’s three public universities are demanding tuition increases, at the same time one is also announcing that it will provide free tuition to about half of Arizona households. Northern Arizona University (NAU) said its new financial aid initiative, Access2Excellence, will cover tuition expenses for every Arizona resident who is admitted to the university and has a household income of $65,000 or less. The median family income in Arizona is $65,000. Two Arizona legislators told The Arizona Sun Times they disagreed with the move. State Sen. John Fillmore (R-Apache Junction), said his bill to encourage apprenticeships is a better solution. “The fact is more kids should NOT be pushed to go to college, and when they are, many are lost after a year or two from disinterest, life issues, and lack of ability,” he said. “This will become another nail in the coffin of helping kids in spite of the desires of wokism. The bill (now in the Senate, and appears it will pass with overwhelming bi-partisan support and has the blessing of the Governor) HB 2290 which has passed...
    by Tom Joyce   Arizona is inching closer toward enacting new legislation allowing a patient the right to try remedies that could save their lives but not given government approval for use. The Arizona House of Representatives passed the Right to Try for Individualized Treatments (SB1163) on Monday. The bill passed in the Arizona Senate in February, so now it will soon head to Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk for his signature.  Typically, new medical treatments have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before patients can access them. Treatments made for individuals based on their genetics, however, cannot get approval from the FDA in time to cure rare illnesses, according to the Goldwater Institute, which advocated for this legislation.  Opponents say the measure should be more of a “buyer beware” bill since experimental treatments could fail, costing the patient money with no legal recourse. The Goldwater Institute says that, if enacted, this bill will save people from having to travel overseas for this sort of treatment – or being denied this sort of treatment and being offered...
    by Tom Joyce   Two members of the Arizona House have expressed support for the U.S. ban on Russian oil imports and called for the U.S. to increase its domestic energy production. State Reps. David Cook, R-Globe, and Brian Fernandez, D-Yuma, sponsored a proclamation read on the Arizona House floor this week that offered support for these policies. The resolution noted Russia invaded the “free and democratic country of Ukraine” on Feb. 24, forcing millions of civilians to flee the country. It also said the U.S. and its allies, in response, have offered sanctions against Russia, including sanctions against Russia’s petroleum industry. The resolution, which was read Wednesday, argued the U.S. needed to find a way to permanently cut off Russia’s energy industry. “The United States has also imported Russian liquified natural gas and coal, despite having some of the largest reserves domestically and this import strategy puts American national security at risk and supports Vladimir Putin’s ability to stay in power,” the proclamation read. It went on to say Americans “should not be forced to help finance Russia’s...
    "The full moon rises beyond a white flag memorial installation, outside Griffith Observatory, which honors the nearly 27,000 Los Angeles County residents who have died from COVID-19 on November 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California." Among the advocates who have been urging federal lawmakers to designate a national COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day are three Latinas who lost parents to the virus. Fiana Paulette Garza tells NBC News that her mom, respiratory therapist Isabelle Papadimitriou, declined retirement to help victims. She died from COVID-19 on July 4, 2020.   Janeth Nuñez del Prado’s dad was unable to access a vaccine where he lives in Bolivia, and had a ticket to travel to the U.S. to get dosed, but he died just days before that flight. “’It's just that failure of vaccine equity,’ decried Nuñez del Prado, who lives in New Mexico,” the report said. "That makes me very angry. It haunts me, he almost made it." While congressional lawmakers have introduced proposals to designate the first Monday of every March “COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day,” they have not received enough support to go forward. In the House, Arizona’s Greg...
    Stephen K. Bannon welcomed The Star News Network‘s National Political Editor, Neil W. McCabe, on Wednesday’s WarRoom: Battleground to discuss Arizona’s late-night legislation push to outlaw precinct strategy after being cheered by former President Trump. Bannon: People only have so much energy, so much time to put their shoulder to the wheel here. What is this fiasco in Arizona? We don’t have time to get Dan Schultz on today. We’re going to get him on tomorrow. Dan just texted me this thing from Harris County, where they didn’t count 10,000 ballots down in the Houston area. I think they just got rid of one of the Democratic officials and they’re tweeting out this is the result of the Bannon precinct strategy. It is really the Schultz precinct strategy. But where it was formed and when it came to birth in Arizona, President Trump – and just make sure everybody understands this – Trump comes out after Steve Stern and Schultz have done this incredible job. We’ve been on the WarRoom for over a year. People have responded. The posse is...
    A Republican state senator in Arizona broke with his party over legislation that would have banned gender-affirming treatment for transgender and non-binary minors. State Sen. Tyler Pace (R) on Wednesday voted with three Democrats, which split the vote among the state's Health and Human Services Committee 4-4, effectively axing the legislation. "The testimonies we heard today about the many people who are using these avenues of medical treatments to save lives, to improve lives, I don't want my vote to stop those great things," Pace said during the committee hearing. Lizette Trujillo testified in front of state lawmakers about SB 1138 in defense of her teenage transgender son and told NBC News that although she was "very surprised" that Pace chose to vote with Democrats, she views his decision as one that was made as a result of hearing the stories of transgender youth.   "When you meet our kids and you see them and you meet our community, a lot of those biases that people carry are dispelled, because we're just families trying to do the right thing," Trujillo said. "I...
    Arizona lawmakers announced on Monday that they would introduce legislation to protect gay and transgender people from discrimination at the hands of businesses, landlords and employers. The anti-discrimination legislation comes from a bipartisan group of lawmakers including the state's Republican House Speaker Russell Bowers. “The coalition supporting this are people from so many walks of life coming together based on values of fairness, and freedom for all,” Rep. Amish Shah (D), who is one of the bill’s main sponsors, said on Monday at a press conference announcing the legislation.  The legislation prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in places of work and public accommodation as well as in housing matters. Religious institutions would be exempt from the policy but not individuals who claim that their faith prevents them from serving certain customers, according to The Associated Press.  Though many businesses and faith leaders support the measure, it is opposed by a social conservative group known as the Center for Arizona Policy, according to the wire service. “This legislation would treat reasonable disagreement as if it were discrimination, dictate...
    This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here. When Republican lawmakers in Arizona convened in December 2020 to forward an alternate slate of electors to Congress in a bid to overturn the election of Joe Biden, they were acting on the advice of a little known conservative constitutional scholar with ties to American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, and Federalist Society member. The role played by Rob Natelson, a former University of Montana law professor and Federalist Society member who serves on ALEC’s board of scholars, in guiding the development of the alternate electoral slate in Arizona has been previously reported, but has received little attention to date. The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol recently issued subpoenas to alternate electors in seven states, including Nancy Cottle and Lorraine B. Pellegrino, two of the 11 electors from Arizona. The subpoenas compel Cottle and Pellegrino to produce documents relevant to the investigation by Feb. 11...
    (CNN)Republican lawmakers in Arizona are pushing a raft of major changes to the state's voting laws, including a controversial bill that would empower legislators to reject election results.The proposal, sponsored by more than a dozen Republican lawmakers, also seeks to overhaul several established election procedures in the battleground state. It would mandate, for instance, that election workers hand-count ballots instead of using electronic equipment to tabulate results.The bill would "create a system where losers can set aside the will of the people," said Alex Gulotta, who runs the Arizona chapter of the voting rights group All Voting is Local. "This is an all-out assault on the freedom to vote."The bill's lead sponsor, GOP Rep. John Fillmore, told CNN in a telephone interview that he's trying to "ensure the integrity of the voting process."Under his proposal, lawmakers would meet to either "accept or reject election results" following primary and general elections. If legislators reject the results, any qualified voter "may file an action in the Superior Court to request that a new election be held," according to the bill.Read MoreFillmore said...
    A Republican lawmaker in Arizona is pushing legislation in the state's House of Representatives that would allow the state's Legislature to overturn primary or general election results. The legislation was introduced by state Rep. John Fillmore, a Republican, and it would be a significant overhaul of Arizona's voting procedure. If passed, the majority of early and absentee voting would be eliminated, and Arizonans would be required to vote in their respective home precinct, according to a report. PAIR LEADS POLICE TO DRUG BUST AFTER TRYING TO BAIL OUT FRIEND WITH FAKE MONEY However, the most dramatic change the legislation would bring would be the requirement to convene for a special session following an election to either "accept or reject the election results." Fillmore's effort is the latest in a series of those by Copper State Republicans who have sought to investigate the election of President Joe Biden and establish more stringent election policies. "We should have voting, in my opinion, in-person, one day, on paper, with no electronic means, and hand-counting that day....
              more   Former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce introduced a resolution for the Maricopa County Republican Party to censure three state lawmakers for opposing an amendment to a bill to expand school vouchers. The Maricopa County GOP will vote on whether to approve the resolution against State Rep. Joel John (R-Buckeye), State Rep. Joanne Osborne (R-Goodyear), and State Rep. Michelle Udall (R-Mesa) in January at its next meeting. The amendment was added by State Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix) to the K-12 budget bill HB 2898 this past legislative session. The three joined with Democrats to defeat it 28-28. Bolick told The Arizona Sun Times, “The same House legislators who rolled the GOP House caucus on SCR 1044 voted against Arizona’s own families when they voted against my amendment. Yet they support reduced tuition for all illegals.” Bolick is referring to how Udall brought SCR 1044 to the House floor for a vote, even though it did not have the votes and was not debated. If passed, it would have provided reduced college tuition for all illegal immigrants, not just Dreamers....
                      by Ailian Evans  Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters wants to break up Big Tech and ban their business practices he believes are harmful. “I think Republicans need to reacquaint themselves with their history of antitrust enforcement, and realize huge concentrations of power in private hands can violate people’s liberties just as much as government,” Masters said in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation. Masters, who announced his candidacy in July, serves as chief operating officer at investment firm Thiel Capital and runs the Thiel Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by billionaire investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. He competes in a crowded Republican primary with fellow candidate and current Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for the chance to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in 2022. If elected, Masters would join a growing contingent of Republican lawmakers, including Colorado Rep. Ken Buck and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, advocating for breaking up Big Tech. Hawley has proposed several pieces of antitrust legislation targeting monopolies in digital markets, while Buck led the introduction of a series of bills...
    Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters wants to break up Big Tech and ban their business practices he believes are harmful, arguing Republicans should “reacquaint themselves with their history of antitrust enforcement” in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “They’re just too big, and have too much power,” Masters said, referring to large tech companies like Amazon, Apple and Google. “This is a new, modern problem for us to solve, and a few Senators who understand the problem could get the ball rolling.” The Senate candidate encouraged lawmakers to think outside of antitrust law when addressing the potential harms of social media, proposing an outright ban on targeted advertising and similar business practices. “The right solution is better data privacy laws that can actually prevent companies from using consumers’ data against them,” Masters said. “A good default would be to allow users to opt-in to all tracking and data collection practices.” Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters wants to break up Big Tech and ban their business practices he believes are harmful. “I think Republicans need to reacquaint...
    Supporters of Donald Trump gathered outside of the Philadelphia Convention Center on Nov. 6, 2020, as ballots continued to be counted. Arizona's sham audit has gone so stunningly well that Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers plan to launch one themselves. Apparently trashing election equipment and wasting millions in taxpayer dollars on an effort marred by incompetence and GOP infighting is looking pretty enticing. The fact that the people leading the bogus Arizona audit are now COVID-positive and can't even deliver the final report on time is just icing on the cake. Sign us up! Republican State Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, citing no actual evidence, said GOP lawmakers are pushing for a "full forensic investigation," clearly avoiding the term "audit" since Arizona's has turned into such a debacle.  Corman simply doesn't trust the outcome of the 2020 election. Call it a sixth sense, a fever dream, a craven attempt to score political points, Corman told a right-wing media type, “I don’t necessarily have faith in the results ... I think that there were many problems in our election that we need to get to...
    The Arizona Democratic Party has called for the immediate resignation of a rising star Phoenix Democrat after he was arrested and charged with sexual misconduct with a minor.  State Sen. Tony Navarrete, 35, was charged this week with sexually abusing a boy for years and attempting to abuse another.  "While everyone in this country is entitled to a fair trial, elected officials must be held to the highest ethical standards," the Arizona Democratic Party said in a statement Friday. "Given the gravity of the felony charges against State Senator Tony Navarrete, the Arizona Democratic Party is calling for his immediate resignation." Navarrete, who represents a west Phoenix district, was a rising star in the Democratic Party and was considered a likely candidate for statewide office, perhaps as soon as 2022. He is serving his second term in the state Senate after one term in the House. ARIZONA STATE DEM ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED SEXUAL CONDUCT WITH A MINOR IN 2019: REPORTS His Democratic colleagues in the state House and Senate called the charges against Navarrete "disturbing" and also urged him to...
    (CNN)As the Texas legislature enters the final week of its special session, state Democrats are bringing in reinforcements from around the country to Washington, DC, in a final push to pressure federal lawmakers to pass voting rights legislation. Beginning Monday, more than 100 Democratic state legislators will fly into the nation's capital as part of a planned "week of action" centered on convincing US senators to forgo their August recess until the upper chamber passes the For the People Act, the sweeping Democratic voting and election bill shot down by Senate Republicans earlier this year. The lawmakers, who hail from at least 20 states, will kick off their advocacy campaign with a rally on Tuesday in the nation's capital. According to organizers, there will be "a series of events and meetings with federal lawmakers throughout the week to underscore the urgent need to pass legislation protecting the right to vote before the end of summer and undo anti-voter laws in time for the 2022 midterm elections." The events are being planned by Declaration of American Democracy, a coalition of activist...
    Arizona Republicans' botched partisan audit of the 2020 presidential election may have come to an end but that hasn't quelled voting rights advocates' concerns about the fragile state of democracy. According to Local 10, the highly publicized audit appears to have fallen apart toward its end. From independent contractors jumping ship to Republican lawmakers withdrawing support for the effort, the audit has not improved much. The outcome of the so-called "forensic audit" has only added to the apprehension about the integrity of the effort as no substantial evidence of voter fraud has been discovered. According to critics and election audit experts, the effort is the epitome of "deeply flawed." "Not even a shred of being salvaged at this point," said Sen. Paul Boyer (R-Ariz.) when he publically condemned the audit back in May. "They've botched it at so many points along the way that it's irrecoverable." Although Boyer was one of the first lone Arizona state lawmakers to publically express disdain about the audit and its handling, he is no longer the only one. Last week, Sen. Michelle...
    Texas lawmakers are expected to discuss voting reforms meant to provide greater election security after the Supreme Court upheld Arizona rules that Democrats had claimed were illegal and discriminatory. The Texas legislature will open a special session on Thursday at the behest of Gov. Greg Abbott. TEXAS DEMOCRATS MULL ANOTHER WALKOUT OVER ELECTION REFORM: ‘EVERYTHING IS ON THE TABLE’ "Today, I'm announcing the formation of the House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies, a select committee with expanded membership and expertise is the ideal forum for ensuring the thoughtful consideration of items that may be on a special session call," Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan tweeted Tuesday. Officially, the subjects to be discussed remain unknown, other than that they will be submitted by Abbott, but Democratic Rep. John Bucy III, who is on the committee, told local KVUE that he "can only imagine that the select committee will deal with elections issues." Abbott had also reportedly said in May that state lawmakers would discuss bills related to elections and bail reform during a special session some time this year....
    Georgia state Sen. Brandon Beach wants to go to Arizona to see how it's done. Georgia state Sen. Brandon Beach, a Republican, said on Friday that the Georgia Legislature should hold a special session to do a "forensic audit" of the results of the 2020 presidential election. He said that he agrees that the audit currently underway in Arizona could serve as a model, telling host John Fredericks of the conservative Real America's Voice network, "We need to have a whole delegation go out there to see what they're doing out in Arizona, they're being very proactive." Beach said that in supporting an audit he was following the lead of fellow state Sen. Burt Jones, who has falsely claimed that fraudulent votes were counted in Fulton County, Georgia. Asked if the Georgia Senate had the ability to force an audit of all votes cast in Georgia, Beach said, "We don't have the power 'cause we're not gonna get 29 senators to sign a petition to call for a special session,...
    Republicans in Pennsylvania and Georgia want to force more reviews of 2020 presidential election results. Republicans across the country are trying to copy Arizona's shoddy and scandal-plagued audit of the 2020 election results in an effort to keep up the lies that the contest was rife with fraud and stolen from Donald Trump — neither of which are true. Republicans in both Pennsylvania and Georgia, which, like Arizona, President Joe Biden narrowly carried in the 2020 election, are trying to force similar audits of their states' election results, even though past reviews have failed to turn up any evidence of fraud. The moves are giving credence to election experts' fears that Arizona's audit — which has been messily run by a Trump-supporting conspiracy theorist — will be copied by Republicans in other states who want to sow doubt about the system of elections. On Wednesday, Republican state legislators from Pennsylvania toured the Arizona audit facility to learn the process. State Sens. Doug Mastriano and Cris Dush, and state Rep. Rob...
    Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. In the two states with the closest outcomes in the 2020 election and where secretaries of state held the line against efforts to overturn the results, Republican lawmakers have made brazen power grabs that would tie the hands of those same elected officials in future elections. Georgia GOP lawmakers have already codified their effort into law while Republicans in Arizona are attempting to finalize a similar move, as The Washington Post's Aaron Blake points out. In Georgia, which Biden won by less than 13,000 votes, Republicans removed GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger form the state election board, which will give the Republican-controlled legislature ultimate say over who controls the board. GOP lawmakers also granted themselves the power to suspend county elections officials if they don't like the way they’re handling their jobs in the midst of future elections. So Republican lawmakers have effectively given themselves the power to manipulate elections officials at both the state and county levels. Republicans in Arizona, where Biden prevailed by just over 10,000 votes, are now in the midst of similarly trying to...
    The Arizona Senate passed a controversial bill Tuesday that would remove some people from the state’s permanent early voter list. The chamber passed Senate Bill 1485 by a 16-14 margin, sending the bill to Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyDetroit police chief planning GOP gubernatorial run against Whitmer Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Arizona governor to resume job-seeking requirements for unemployment benefits MORE’s (R) desk. The bill was passed strictly along party lines. The legislation, if signed into law, would remove a voter from the list if the person fails to vote in the primary and general elections for two consecutive election cycles. Votes would receive a notification from their county before they are removed, which they could sign and return in order to remain on the list. "Voting by mail is a big part of the election process in Arizona," said state Sen. Ugenti-Rita (R), the bill’s sponsor. "The people on the list are opting-in to use this option. It needs to be regularly updated to make sure the people who are on...
    A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress representing border states introduced legislation on Thursday aimed at responding to "the surge" at the U.S.-Mexico border by creating "regional processing centers" along the southern border to process migrants. Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas, along with Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar and Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, joined together to present the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act, which attempts to help the federal government better manage influxes in migration. The bill would direct the Biden administration to establish regional processing centers that “are not long-term detention facilities, but facilities where DHS can bring multiple agencies under one roof to carry out activities such as criminal history checks, legal orientation programming, issuance of immigration court documents, and communication and coordination with Non-Governmental Organizations,” according to a bill summary. ARIZONA DEMOCRATIC SENATORS LAMENT SOUTHERN BORDER 'CRISIS' The bill would also authorize the Homeland Security Department to conduct pilot programs in an effort to improve the asylum process by giving migrants better access to counsel and case management while they await...
    The Arizona Legislature soon will send Gov. Doug Ducey a requirement that the state’s law enforcement agencies collect use-of-force data. The Senate has approved House Bill 2168, sponsored by Rep. Walt Blackman, R-Snowflake. If signed by Ducey, it would require law enforcement agencies to collect information on any use-of-force incidents involving officers and send it to the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission and the FBI’s National Use of Force Data Collection database. The state would make data from the previous year available. “In light of the recent incident in Minnesota that led to the shooting death of Daunte Wright, my heart and prayers go out to all that have been affected by this tragedy,” Blackman said. “I’m hopeful that the detailed data collected as a result of this legislation will help lead to informed decision making, policy reforms and enhanced training to support law enforcement agencies and improve the ability of officers to serve and protect people in our communities.” The bill’s passage comes as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin stands accused of murder in the killing...
    Arizonans who seek to carry a firearm in their vehicle on public school grounds no longer would need to unload it beforehand under legislation working its way through the Arizona Legislature. House Bill 2840 would remove the requirement that adults unload a firearm before they drive onto school grounds. The bill is scheduled for one more vote on the House Floor before being sent to the Senate. “The components of the bill are four-fold,” bill sponsor Rep. Jaqueline Parker, R-Mesa, said during a Wednesday hearing. “Number one, the gun has to be in the car. Number two, the gun has to be under the control of an adult. Number three, if the adult leaves the car, the car has to be locked. Number four, the gun cannot be visible from outside of the car.” Gun safety advocates say negligent firearms discharges most commonly happen when performing mundane tasks such as unloading a firearm or moving it. Democrats opposed the bill, saying it would lead to gun deaths on school grounds. “This bill suffers from...
    Arizona Republicans are moving forward with legislation to increase the state’s unemployment benefits payouts but with several reforms they say would root out fraud and incentivize a return to the workforce. An amended Senate Bill 1411, sponsored by Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, would increase the state’s maximum weekly unemployment benefit to $320, up from $240. It would rise again to $400 when the state’s unemployment trust is sufficiently funded. The bill was approved Tuesday on a bipartisan basis in the Senate Appropriations Committee. It also would increase the income disregard, or income an unemployed person can earn before their benefits stop, to $160. “It keeps the employee engaged at the workforce,” Fann said. “It’s kind of like school. If you drop out of school, it’s very difficult to get them to go back in. But, if they keep engaged with their workforce colleagues, if they feel like they’re part of that whole world, they are more likely to go back to work.” Arizona has one of the nation’s lowest caps in unemployment benefits. While it means less...
    (CNN)Arizona lawmakers are debating a new set of voting bills -- including one that would allow lawmakers to review election results "if needed" and would grant the legislature the power to pick the state's presidential electors -- as Republican lawmakers around the country work to change election laws in the wake of the 2020 election.The effort by GOP legislators in battleground states to drastically change voting laws comes after last year's elections saw record numbers of early and mail-in voters, many of them Democrats, after rules were relaxed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The high numbers triggered baseless claims of fraud by then-President Donald Trump and other Republicans that culminated with the deadly January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.Under a new proposed amendment to the Arizona constitution, introduced by a Republican state senator, the legislature would meet in a special session the Monday after Election Day to "review or investigate, if needed" the results of the election, a provision some Republicans have said is needed after the November election.GOP Sen. David Gowan, the bill's sponsor, said the legislation "is...
    A measure working its way through the Arizona Legislature, if enacted, would grant people, businesses, hospitals and local governments partial immunity from pandemic-related litigation. Senate Bill 1377 passed muster in the Senate Rules Committee Monday along party lines. It also made its way out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in kind last week. It would require anyone seeking pandemic-related damages in court to prove the “provider” can provide clear and convincing evidence that they were purposefully negligent. It’s seen as a higher bar for a plaintiff to prove than in other civil tort lawsuits. It would be retroactive to March 11, 2020. That’s when Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared an emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Vince Leach, R-Saddlebrooke, said the change was necessary to protect against reckless lawsuits. “Unfortunately, there will always be people who will try to take advantage of the situation and file reckless lawsuits,” he said. “I hope this legislation will give people the assurance that if they’re following health and safety precautions, they won’t be hit with a...
    A worker is seen during the vote-by-mail ballots scanning process at the Miami-Dade County Election Department on October 21, 2020. Earlier this month, Ari Berman wrote about the tsunami of voter suppression bills that state legislators have introduced in the first weeks of 2021, tweeting “This is huge scandal that should be getting as much attention as Trump’s plot to overturn election.” Indeed. As of Monday, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which has for years closely followed and analyzed voter laws across the nation, 33 states had filed, pre-filed, or carried over from last year 165 bills restricting the vote. These focus mainly on limiting mail voting access, imposing stricter voter ID requirements, slashing voter registration opportunities, and enabling more aggressive voter roll purges. All part of reinventing Jim Crow. Writes the Brennan team, “These bills are an unmistakable response to the unfounded and dangerous lies about fraud that followed the 2020 election.” The worst of the lot: Arizona with 19 bills, Pennsylvania with 14, Georgia with 11, and New Hampshire with 10. However, there is a simultaneous countervailing effort, one that progressives should enhance. Legislators in 37 states have introduced 541 bills...
    The newly reelected Arizona GOP chairwoman is hoping to ward off a potential audit, but some legislators from her own party are accusing her of hypocrisy. More than a dozen Republican legislators in Arizona sent a letter to Kelli Ward calling for an audit of her narrowly decided reelection race on Wednesday night, according to a readout of the letter. The members of both the state House and Senate say that if she refuses, she should revoke her request to audit the state's 2020 presidential election results, arguing that her hypocrisy is undermining the party's message of election transparency across the board. "Now, our collective message is being undermined by your insistence that none of these standards should apply to your election as AZ GOP Chairman," the lawmakers' letter said. "The inconsistency is simply not acceptable." While the legislators noted the difference in scale between a local race and a presidential contest, the letter nonetheless maintained that Ward would serve as an "unwelcome distraction" and a "foil for the media to use to discredit [lawmakers' audit] efforts" should she perpetuate...
    A policy change brought about during the pandemic to help ailing restaurants and bars could soon become permanent in Arizona. State Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Gilbert, introduced House Bill 2773 Tuesday. If enacted, it would allow restaurants and bars to sell mixed alcoholic drinks to-go. The proposal drew praise from local businesses. “Over the past year the hospitality industry has endured incredible challenges, but one of the bright spots that has emerged is our customers’ embrace of cocktails to-go,” said Matt Fulton, owner of Pigstail and the Whining Pig in Phoenix. “As the industry moves from survival to recovery, cocktails to-go will play a vital role in ensuring Arizona’s place as a culinary and hospitality leader.” Most states, including the District of Columbia, have allowed a similar provision during the pandemic. Iowa and Ohio’s governors have signed legislation that makes to-go cocktails permanent. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia, are considering a law...
    GOP state lawmakers in three battleground states where President Joe Biden narrowly defeated former President Donald Trump in November are looking to tighten their states’ vote-by-mail rules. The moves come after Trump spent the lead-up to the general election by going after vote-by-mail, which was implemented in many states to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump repeatedly claimed that vote-by-mail would lead to “fraud” and would “destroy this country.” There was a surge in early and mail-in voting during the 2020 election, with most votes cast by Democrats. Now, with legislative sessions in the statehouses in session, GOP lawmakers are coming up with a flurry of laws aimed at restricting vote-by-mail. In Georgia, Republican state Sen. Jason Anavitarte introduced SB 29 this week. The bill, if implemented, would require voters to provide a form of identification when requesting and dropping off their absentee ballot. Biden won Georgia by less than 12,000 votes out of the nearly 5 million ballots cast. In Arizona, lawmakers introduced several bills aimed at limiting or getting rid of vote-by-mail. SB 1503, introduced by state...
    Federal prosecutors in Arizona are asking a judge to detain the Capitol rioter known as the "QAnon Shaman" before trial, saying his words and actions during the Jan. 6 siege show that the intent of the rioters was to "capture and assassinate" lawmakers. Jacob Chansley, 33, of Arizona was indicted Jan. 11 by a federal grand jury on two felony charges of interfering with law enforcement during the commission of civil disorder and obstructing a Congressional proceeding, threatening Congressional officials and disorderly conduct. Chansley, who is also known as Jake Angeli, was also indicted on four misdemeanor counts.  Prosecutors say Chansley, a well-known fixture at Arizona pro-Trump rallies, is a "self-proclaimed leader" in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement. Images of a shirtless Chansley storming the Capitol wearing horns, a fur coyote tail headdress and face paint, carrying a bullhorn and a spear, quickly went viral on social media. He is being held in a federal detention facility in Arizona. A Trump supporter, later identified as Jake Angeli of Arizona, screams "Freedom" inside the Senate Chamber after the U.S. Capitol was breached...
    WASHINGTON -- Four people died as supporters of President Donald Trump violently occupied the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.Washington, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said the dead included a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as three others who died in "medical emergencies."Police said both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hours-long occupation of the Capitol building before it was cleared Wednesday evening by law enforcement.The woman was shot earlier Wednesday as the mob tried to break through a barricaded door in the Capitol where police were armed on the other side. She was hospitalized with a gunshot wound and later died.D.C. police officials also say two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.D.C. police also said 14 officers were injured due to the protests and there were 52 arrests - 26 of the arrests were carried out on the grounds of the Capitol.Congressional lawmakers...
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